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Books to Watch | August 13, 2019

Dylan Schleicher

August 13, 2019

The three members of our marketing team highlight five books being released this week, and our GM tells us what she's been reading.

In the past, we have always had a monthly "Books to Watch" list to let our readers know what new books we're most excited about. But, because those lists can get a little long and unwieldy, the books (and the best intentions to actually read them) are too often forgotten as we progress though the month—especially those being published later in the month. So, last week, we began a new series highlighting five books on pub date (most publishers release all their books on Tuesdays) that we are most interested in. 

These weekly lists are curated by our Editorial & Creative Director, Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), our Marketing Director Blyth Meier (BRM), and our Digital Marketing Specialist Gabbi Cisneros (GMC). We also take this weekly opportunity to let you know what other people in the company are reading, regardless of when it was published. This week, our choices are:

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, One World (BRM) | If you, like many, are confused or frustrated by the shifting and often euphemistic language used today about race relations, this is your book.  Who better to “do the basic work of defining the kind of people we want to be in language that is stable and consistent” than the founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University? A National Book Award winner and Guggenheim Fellow, Professor Kendi’s new book clearly and helpfully shifts our country’s discourse from “non-racist” to “anti-racist”, and is the perfect follow-up read to So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeomo Oluo, our 2018 Personal Development Book of the Year.

Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard, Simon & Schuster (DJJS) | Charles and David Koch’s fortunes combined surpasses that of the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, and the companies they oversee are more intimately intertwined in the American economy and in our everyday lives than even Amazon—albeit in more opaque ways. Christopher Leonard’s biography of Koch Industries is the story of how they’ve procured that wealth (and their economic and political influence) that doubles as “a portrait of the American economy since the 1960s.” 

Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney, Henry Holt (DJJS) | Jonathan Mooney didn’t need to be fixed. He simply needed to be empowered to use the gifts he had to succeed, rather than be forced into what others defined as “normal” development. The neuro-diverse writer, advocate, and public speaker, who didn’t learn to read until he was twelve years old, has now written a funny, emotional, and eloquent book in the form of a letter to his young sons that reframes the idea of “normal,” and calls on us all to “reorient the ways in which we think about diversity, abilities, and disabilities.”

State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformationby Melissa Isaacson, Agate Midway (DJJS) | With the success of the US women's national soccer team, it’s easy to forget that the team has been around for less than 35 years. The passing of Title IX in 1972 made the creation of the team in 1985 possible, and opened the door to so many other women and girls playing sports at all levels—including award-winning sportswriter Mellissa Isaacson. Her new book—the story of her Niles West High School basketball team and their journey to winning the third-ever girls’ state basketball championship in Illinois in 1979—is an intimate portrayal of how the chance to play not only changed, but saved so many girls’ lives. 

The Transpacific Experiment: How China and California Collaborate and Compete for Our Future by Matt Sheehan, Counterpoint (DJJS) | Even amidst an escalating and so-far attritious trade war between China and the United States, there is one state that has acted as a laboratory for the relationship between the two countries—California. Matt Sheehan spent six years examining the “fluid ecosystem of students, entrepreneurs, investors, immigrants, and ideas bouncing back and forth between the Golden State and the Middle Kingdom.” His book looks at the geopolitical relationship through the lens of those lives, taking us from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to “democracy protests in Hong Kong to down and out coal towns in Shaanxi Province.”

 

What we're reading:

I am reading Marlena: A Novel by Julie Buntin, who just left her post as head of writing program at Catapult.

It’s about two teenagers in upper Michigan, one who detours temporarily from fulfilling her promise and one who never got the chance.

—Sally Haldorson, General Manager & Chief Strategist

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